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Is there any reason an intelligent item taking classes in intelligent item from the book Complete Eldritch Power could not also take ranks in other classes? Say fighter or wizard, so that they could have a familiar or take the leadership feat and have a follower to wield them?

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Yes, intelligent magic items can multiclass if the short variant rule for multiclassing is used. (It's on page 55 of the Book of Eldritch Might III: The Nexus and page 69 of Complete Book of Eldritch Might.) Those rules also include suggestions for how to handle intelligent magic items casting spells with somatic components.

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There isn't any reason why they cannot...

...so long as they can meet all the prerequisites (if any) and requirements of the class.

Note that levels of fighter will not help your combat potential much, unless the item in question can self wield. Nor will a follower-wielder gain your attack bonus from fighter levels.

And casting spells as a wizard would be rather problematic without the ability to gesture for the somatic components, not to mention handling the spell components.

I would suggest considering psionics for ease of use, otherwise you'll have to be really careful with your level choices.

Note that all magic items are considered constructs, (DMG p.268, paragraph 2 under the Intelligent items section) and thus could always take levels in Construct, gaining feats, skill points, and HD/HP, etc..

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    \$\begingroup\$ I think that's the second time you've made the suggestion about taking levels in construct. You mean by making a house rule allowing that, right? I mean,—totally correct me if I'm wrong,—but a creature can't normally take levels in its creature type, like a dwarf taking a level in humanoid or whatever, correct? \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Nov 28 '17 at 3:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ With the animate self feat from the eldritch power book, couldn't they also make Somali gestures as they can crudely manipulate objects and are technically mobile? \$\endgroup\$ – Critical Crafting Nov 28 '17 at 3:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Khaldhool No, it is not sufficient. From the SRD: "Somatic (S) A somatic component is a measured and precise movement of the hand. You must have at least one hand free to provide a somatic component." As you put it, "crudely manipulate" isn't compatible with "measured and precise movement". \$\endgroup\$ – nijineko Nov 28 '17 at 18:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan Um, no houserule needed that I am aware of. Any character or NPC could take a level in their creature type instead of a class level. Class levels are pretty much just a special type of HD level usually reserved for PCs, NPCs, and certain monsters, at least until Savage Species. After the SS ruleset and the Savage Progressions guidance, everything is converted into levels. SS even gives you rules for the conversion of any kind of creature into a level format. Most people won't take straight HD because it's sub-par. Some races specifically mentioning taking HD levels periodically. \$\endgroup\$ – nijineko Nov 28 '17 at 18:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan And, lots of creatures as presented in the MM(s) are not at the top of their type progression, they have to take HD levels to progress as well. \$\endgroup\$ – nijineko Nov 28 '17 at 18:58

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